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Harris Blackwood: Spreading the love to wives who lost spouse
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This week was one of those weeks that I was struggling with a fresh idea for a column. Then, one of the random thoughts that popped into my head was I am glad I’m not like some historical figures who had as many as 40 wives.

Therefore, if your belief system tells you having multiple wives is OK, you might want to stop reading here.

I am very comfortable with one wife for many reasons.

First, I have legal and religious reasons. Second, I am reaching a point in life that my recall of names is not instantaneous.

The late Patsy Cline, one of the greatest singers of all time, recorded a Harlan Howard song titled, “He Called Me Baby.” The lyrics are a lament about a departed love.

“He called me baby, baby, all night long. Used to hold and kiss me until dawn. Then, one day I woke and he was gone. No more baby, baby, all night long.”

If I had multiple wives, I think I would call them all some generic name, such as baby, honey or sweetie. It works for waitresses at Waffle House, too.

But then, I thought what an awful time it would be on Valentine’s Day. If you had 40 wives, you could spend about 30 minutes with each one, provided they all lived nearby.

If that were the case, you would have to pick out 40 different cards, so as not to send the same one to any of the others.

A couple of TV shows are about men who have multiple wives. They seem to be tolerant of their shared love experience.

Let me assure you, the woman who shares my name would not be tolerant. You would have a new columnist in this space.

But let me get back to Valentine’s Day. It is a conspiracy brought forth by retailers.

I think a forced day of love lacks a great deal of sincerity. I love my wife, but why do I have to line up with everyone else and say it on a single day.

When we started talking about Valentine’s Day, my wife gave me a great idea: Make sure somebody who is now minus their lifetime love receives an expression of love on this day.

I know a number of women whose marriages reached that dreaded point of “until death do we part.” By the time you read this, I would have bought a few Valentine cards and maybe a flower or two and made a personal delivery. It is a message that says you are still loved and should never forget the love that sustained you for so many years.

Sometimes, a spouse becomes a caregiver to their loved one. While I have watched the lives of family members fade away in illness, I cannot fathom what that is like with a person you fell in love with 40, 50 or 60 years ago.

Let me ask you to join me in sharing a message of love with someone who needs it. Call, write or take a little something to someone who is alone on Valentine’s Day, especially for the first time.

Perhaps it will be the spark that kindles the fire of joyous memories of a lifetime together.

I’m thankful to my wonderful wife for giving me a great idea for a good way to spread a little love.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on